September 28, 2003

Power pole fire at home

This morning started with a bang. Literally, at about 4:45 a.m. a power transformer blew-up near our house with a fantastic boom and bright flash. Then following that there were flashes and explosions in the trees along the main street that runs next to our house. Waking from a deep sleep and four hours of sleep it seemed like I was witnessing World War II antiaircraft fire. I knew this was not the case and I noticed the power was out and I looked out the window and saw, what looked like a tree on fire on our property. I called the emergency number, then put in contacts and proper clothes and went outside to investigate.

We had the power pole on fire at the corner of Bradley Blvd. and McLean Drive and had live wires in down in the street. I could see police cars had the boulevard blocked off to traffic and a fire engine sitting back about 200 feet. The fire truck could not put out the fire due to the down live wires, so we waited for the power company to arrive. An hour and a half later the power company arrived and turned off the power (this does not stop electricity from the wires however I was warned from a screaming policeman) and put out the fire.

In the next few hours we had six to eight power trucks arrive to fix the problems. The power crew had a goal of being done by 1 p.m. so they could all go an watch the NASCAR race. This turned out to be a great motivator as they removed the hanging piece of the power pole and placed an new power pole in a hole next to the existing pole and had power restored to all by 1 p.m.

The fire was caused by a power wire coming loose from its resistor and resting against the pole. This caused the fire on the pole, which ate its way through the pole causing the top to fall off. The fire continued on both pieces of the pole. When the top fell it caused the shorts in the lines and caused the lines to fall into the trees, which produced the arcing.

What a way to start the day to bring home Will.

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